Even though I lived near Hanti Station in Gangnam for many years back in the day, I remember passing by Yeongdong Snack Car plenty of times and thought it was exclusively for taxi drivers. Well, fast forward five years later and I heard locals were welcome, so I didn’t hesitate to visit after having a few meetings auspiciously planned in that area.
From my knowledge, Yeongdong Snack Car is the only gisa sikdang (taxi driver restaurant) landmarked as a Seoul Future Heritage site, spanning an impressive four decades in an affluent part of Gangnam. Surprisingly, they started serving meals out of a reconditioned bus and, over time, grew in size (and popularity) forcing them to expand their eatery to an adjacent make-shift container. Now, they’re pumping out delicious food 24/7 in one of the most efficient operations I’ve seen out of a gisa sikdang. You order upon walking in, lady microphones your order to the back kitchen, get yourself unlimited self-serve banchan, and food should arrive within minutes.
My visits here are always great because the food and banchan are terrific, service is fast yet courteous, and the menu is expansive. Since I have OCD tendencies, I’ve been making my way down the entire menu until I had their sub-par bokkeumbap (fried rice), which was on the skimpy side and underwhelming, flavor-wise. For that reason, I’ll stick to these overwhelming favorites for myself and, according to the waitstaff, regular customers: dweji bulbaek (spicy stir-fried pork) and kongbiji jjigae (creamy soybean stew). The latter is the best one I’ve had during my time in Korea–creamy, savory, and so comforting. It’s relatively a hard dish to come by, so I’ll be making regular stops during the cold winter months. If you like something on the spicy side and packing in more flavors, you can’t go wrong with the dweji bulbaek–offered in pork and beef versions while served piping hot in a ttukbaeggi.
Taxi drivers are a picky bunch when it comes to food. They usually work 12-hour shifts with few breaks in between, so the worst thing that could happen to them is wasting that valuable time on crappy food. If you happen to chat up with a driver, don’t hesitate to ask where to find good eats—they’ve been a great source for me over the years.
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Yeoksam-dong 765-3 (강남구 역삼동 756-3)
Hours: Open 24 hours every day
Phone number: 02-588-5469
Click here for an interactive map: http://naver.me/GCOB4Z0T